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Q. How can I manage constipation?

Answered by
Dr. Ajeet Kumar Lohana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 20, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 08, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am a bit worried if I am passing out enough stool or not. I weigh 107.8lbs and 5 feet in height. My regular bowel movement is once everyday or sometimes every other day. I am worried if this is normal or not. Sometimes my poop comes in small amounts only. I was thinking if is it because I was only eating during lunch and dinner. During this time of pandemic, I am very afraid of getting sick I do not know why. Also, during this pandemic I have been experiencing anxiety. Or I am afraid of many things. I am afraid of kidney problems, of colon problems specially the colon cancer. I do not know why. So I was also thinking if is it because of what I am feeling right now that is why I am having constipation. Please could someone help me?

Dr. Ajeet Kumar Lohana

Medical Gastroenterology


Welcome to

Well all your concern are reasonable and quite common. In this high time of uncertainity everbody can easily frightened and I understand you have been through the same.

Well it is completely normal if someone has only one bowel movement in a day. The forms of stools, and amount does usually vary based on what we eat Lots of fibers will make stools bulky while excessive meat with little amount of water intake can turn in to small quanitity of stools and dark brown color for certain reasons. In particular to you case it does not seem abnormal to me.

I see you have been taking Ferrous sulfate and MV, which often tend to cause gastric upset. Such as constipation and darkening of the color of stools to almost black, is a common side effect. some people can develop excessive gas and bloating aftet their use. You did not mention what is the reason of taking these medications? Any particular reason? Let me know why you feel that you might have kideny or colon problem? Is there any significant family history of such disorders? The colon cancer tend to occur elderly like age above 50 years unless someone has strong family history of colon cancer.. Let me know then about your family and I will be able to tell you the risks.

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Thank you doctor,

But sometimes my bowel movement is every other day and sometimes in small amounts. I usually eat vegetables and fish. I forgot also to mention that I am still breastfeeding my 2 1/2 years old son though he is also eating solid food. I have been taking ferrous sulfate and MV cause it is prescribed to me by my OB since I am breastfeeding my son. My father had prostate cancer at the age of 72. Then my aunt had a colon cancer at the age of 70. But my father died because of kidney failure due to his diabetes. Help me doctor please. I felt that I was overthinking especially at this time of pandemic where everything seems to be not normal that is why it caused me to be constipated.

Dr. Ajeet Kumar Lohana

Medical Gastroenterology


Welcome back to

Well one bowel movement in less than 3 days is considered as normal. If it were in 3 or plus 3 days then it is thing is to be concerned. Secondly you seem not to have a high risk of development of colon cancer. So do not to be worry. And Particularly your symptoms are not that serious and not any way pointing to wards a omnious diagnosis. I suggest you to discuss with your OB doctor if these Ferrous Sulfate can be stopped. I am fine with MV. Because the Iron supplements can be causing this altered bowel movmenets.

And yes you are little overthinking, I want you to relax and just follow simple instruction as follows. Do some excercise at home. Yoga is preferable. If you are fond of reading then do read something which will help to indulge you. I know it would be hard to manage with two kids at home, but spare sometime for yourself as minimum as 1 hour. Do talk to your friends and discuss with them your anxiety. They can be the best source of positive energy. I hope this will help you deviate your attention for a while.

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